Hong Kong MTR

How did this man manage to get a large rubbish bin on crowded MTR?

Passenger with bulky item left train after being approached by MTR staff

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 March, 2018, 9:53am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 March, 2018, 11:44am

A Hong Kong man created a stir online on Thursday by taking the MTR with a large rubbish bin.

 MTR passengers generally observe luggage rules, which prohibit bulky items on trains. But in a photo widely circulated on Thursday, an elderly man was seen standing inside a fairly crowded carriage with the bin next to him. 

The man was not in uniform, like a cleaner may have been.

Other passengers nearby seemed unaware of or unperturbed by his extra large personal item.

An MTR spokesman said the passenger boarded the Whampoa-bound train at Wong Tai Sin Station at about 12.05pm on Thursday.

An off-duty MTR employee on the train alerted an operation control centre. 

Staff at Kowloon Tong Station approached the man and told him the item was oversized according to MTR rules. The man was advised to leave the train, the spokesman said.

“The passenger was cooperative, and he disembarked at the next station, Shek Kip Mei, and left the station area. No prosecution was needed,” the spokesman added. He reminded passengers to observe the rules to ensure safety.

No details were available on how the man managed to get past turnstiles and MTR staff surveillance and board the train.

Under the MTR Conditions of Carriage of Luggage, passengers travelling on trains and buses on the MTR network may carry one piece of luggage with total dimensions (length, width and height) not exceeding 170cm and the length of any one side not exceeding 130cm. The item must not weigh more than 23kg. 

Passengers with valid permits are allowed to carry one musical instrument or one piece of sports equipment with total dimensions not exceeding 235cm and the length of any one side not exceeding 145cm.

Change of tune: Hong Kong’s MTR to review baggage rules as top orchestras join criticism of ban on large instruments

The incident sparked heated discussion on an online forum, with users questioning how the man managed to go through station turnstiles. 

Some posters wondered how the man obtained the rubbish bin, as these were usually seen on the roadside.

One forum user criticised MTR for its previous stringent enforcement actions against students with large musical instruments. 

In 2015, the transport operator triggered public outrage by intercepting three student commuters within a week for carrying bulky musical instruments, including a guzheng, or Chinese zither, and cellos, while allegedly being more lenient towards parallel traders

The traders buy goods in the city to resell on the mainland. Some locals complain that they cause a nuisance on trains with their bulky items.

MTR later launched the permit scheme for large musical instruments and sports equipment.